The concept was first generated by the Founding Director Russell Smith, who gathered support from Trade Associations, who represent over 100,000 UK SMEs. At the time of conception (throughout 2012), the UK Government was launching the Green Deal policy, whereby consumers could pay for energy saving works using a loan attached to the electricity meter and repaid using the savings generated. The policy operated around the concept of a Green Deal Provider who could access the finance to offer consumers. There was general concern that SME contractors would not benefit from the policy, and potentially lose customers, as GDPs entered the market and dominated a network of sub-contracting under their brand to deliver works. Furthermore, to become certified as a GDP required administration and business capacities offered by larger organisations, thus eliminating SMEs for this option.
This initiated a drive for a body of local SMEs to collaborate and generate a delivery model whereby the green deal policy could operate but not dictate the process. The desire for homeowners to have more options around retrofit services, including the ability to go direct to their local tradesman for Green Deal, or other finance was also recognised. The outcome was an inception of a cooperative model that could access various finance for retrofit, including but not limited to Green Deal finance.
Our journey timeline
- Aug 2011First expressions of interest sought
- 30th Sep 2011First meeting of the ‘Green Deal Conduit’ at FSB headquarters
- 28th Nov 2011First model options tabled
- 2012Parity Projects acquired EU funding
- Aug 2012Trade Association financial input & support
- Sept 2012Haringey Council join the steering group due to aligned aims. Detailed work on business case with Haringey Council.
- Nov 2012Consultation with 900 SMEs.
- May 2013RetrofitWorks name chosen and cooperative model agreed as best approach.
- July 2013Incorporation of the cooperative as an Industrial & Provident Society
- August 2013‘Pioneer Places’ funded trials start in Haringey
- Jan 2014Software development starts
- October 2014Smart Homes Scheme launched in North London.
- Feb 2015Start trading. First non-trial installs.
- July 2015Greater London Authority (GLA) Contract to trial Private Landlord scheme in Hounslow
- August 2016Enfield Borough Warm and Healthy Homes Scheme starts for vulnerable householders.
- March 2016First energy efficiency installs for London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
- 2016 AGM£1m of retrofit work delivered – milestone reached.
- July 2017AGM – future opportunities being planned.
Photos from our launch event, 16th July 2014, Tottenham Hotspur’s Venue
RetrofitWorks Launch Event 2014
Our services & how we operate
RetrofitWorks is a ‘not for private profit’ co-operative, matching communities & homeowners who want to retrofit their homes, with local, quality assured SME assessors and installers. (*)
RetrofitWorks uniquely joins these groups together into two sets of key members – coming together to identify the need for & delivery of high quality retrofit projects:
- RetrofitWorks Advocates – organisations that represent a constituency of potential customers, acting as trusted advisers on their behalf. Groups such as community groups, local authorities and other local stakeholders comprise our Advocate members.
- RetrofitWorks Practioners – certified companies wishing to carry out retrofit advice, assessment, design, coordination, and installation. All Practitioners are fully trained, including PAS2030 accreditation for SME businesses.
This structure transforms the traditional approach to improving properties.
Our third membership group – RetrofitWorks Associates – operate as ‘friends’ of RetrofitWorks. Associate membership is open to any organisation that wishes to formally support the co-operative. There are no entry requirements to join, other than the desire and promise to continually support RetrofitWorks in the local community.
Our service features and benefits are summarised below:
– Householders are assessed, and three quotes are generated from the energy survey from local SME companies via our software portal
– All installer Practitioner members are quality vetted, and referenced
– We advise on best grant scheme for householder circumstances
– Our systems mean far fewer visits are necessary
– RetrofitWorks’ controls ensure best service and a transparent delivery model
Our approach ensures value for money for the property owner by creating competition amongst members, and our structure reduces costs through economies of scale.
RetrofitWorks offers a ‘one-stop-shop’ guaranteed retrofit installation, and quality of service is assured by RetrofitWorks’ staff and governance policies.
(*) Profits are returned to the cooperative membership – either directly, or as the members deem fit. For example, assisting in the provision of discounted training programmes and certification schemes or funding capital works for fuel poor households.
RetrofitWorks is a Registered Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. Registered Number 32147 R